Special Announcement from the Vice-Chancellor - Graduation Ceremonies July 2020

Dear All -  

I wanted to share with you the decision that we have made about postponing this summer’s graduation ceremonies from July 2020 until March 2021 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was a difficult decision and I understand and appreciate how much it means to our graduating students, their friends and family, and the many colleagues who have taught them and worked with them during their time at Birmingham, to be able to celebrate their achievements.

It is important to remember that the Graduation Ceremony is the celebration – and postponing this element does not mean that students will not complete their degree and graduate with their awards. As you will be aware from Professor Armour’s message to all students last week my colleagues are working extremely hard to ensure that all final year students, at all levels who can complete this year, will do so.  As part of this work we are also making arrangements to ensure that they can access their transcripts and certificates wherever they are in the world.

We recognise that our final year students will still want the opportunity to mark their achievements in some way in July and so will also be arranging a virtual graduation celebration in July for our graduating students wherever they are in the world.  Further details of this will follow.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this message, we also remain absolutely committed to providing an opportunity for the class of 2020 to reunite with friends in person and on campus to celebrate their achievements, put on a graduation gown, take photos and share the experience with family and friends. Having carefully considered a number of alternative dates, we believe that the best option for our global student body is to hold the rescheduled ceremonies at the end of March 2021 – a point at which we hope travel restrictions will have been lifted in all parts of the globe ensuring that as many of our class of 2020 are able to attend in person as possible.

While I understand that this is not what any of us had wished for, we hope that by offering a virtual graduation celebration this summer followed by an on-campus graduation ceremony experience next March we will still be able to come together to celebrate the achievements of our graduating students.

As you will understand, all of our planning is subject to the rapidly changing global circumstances and so we will provide more detail about all of the arrangements, including those for our virtual celebrations, transcripts and certificates, as soon as we know what is practical.  What you can be certain of is that of the best interests of our students and staff remain at the heart of our decision-making.

As a global community of staff, students and alumni we are all affected by the current pandemic. I hope that you are all well, and taking good care of yourselves and your loved ones. We will come through this current challenging period together and ensure that you will be proud students, graduates and alumni of the University of Birmingham.

With my very best wishes –

Professor Sir David Eastwood

Vice-Chancellor & Principal.


View the Vice-Chancellors personal video message 


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